All week the weather has been absolutely gorgeous. It has been varying degrees of sunny, the temperatures have been moderate, and I have had to sleep through most of it because I've had to work. And today, on a precious Saturday off, it has rained a LOT and the temperatures struggled to get above 60°.
The only thing I accomplished today was to go buy a floor jack. A real floor jack, not a trolley jack (of which I have two). Let me give you some advice: if you are going to buy a hydraulic jack, don't bother with a trolley jack unless you can't afford to buy a floor jack. Trolley jacks are okay but they are inferior to floor jacks.
With a floor jack, you can move the car while it is on the jack; try to do that with a trolley jack and you'll be lucky if bending the frame of the thing is all you do. The frame of a typical trolley jack is made from stamped sheetmetal, and it's normally not very thick sheetmetal at that. The floor jack is made from cast or forged parts.
The ironic thing is that my big trolley jack cost $40; Harbor Freight has a perfectly acceptable 2.25 ton floor jack for $50. I bought their 3-ton jack, though (for $90) because one of the vehicles I occasionally work on here is a full-size van.
$90 for a jack doesn't even get a good start, either. You can literally pay a thousand dollars for a good floor jack. Chances are it'll have a label or casting on it that says "SNAP-ON" or "MATCO" or something similar, and have a lifetime replacement guarantee. I'm just as happy since I only use my jacks for raising a car onto, and lowering it from, jack stands.
DISCLAIMER: ALWAYS USE JACK STANDS TO SUPPORT ANY CAR YOU GET UNDER. NEVER GET UNDER A CAR SUPPORTED ONLY BY A JACK. YOU CAN BE KILLED IF THE JACK SLIPS OR FAILS AND THE CAR FALLS ON YOU!
...and probably will be, to boot. I read a story on the Fiero Forum about a kid who was working on his truck with an air bag suspension. He ran the thing all the way up, then got underneath to do some exhaust work. He nicked one of the air hoses with the torch, and all the air in the system escaped, putting the truck's chassis right on top of the kid. SQUISH. Yeah. You can't bench-press a ton and a half, so don't even try it. Just take the extra couple minutes to shove jack stands under the frame, for crying out loud.
I expect that finding time to work on the Escort will be difficult now, I know, precisely because I now have the parts car. The weather will suck on weekends, in all probability.
My sister is coming up here next weekend, so I bet I won't get anything done on the car then, either; she hasn't visited the old homestead in...well...years. Like, since late 2002.
ANYway, so the first order of business will be to borrow the starter from the green Escort and put it into the red Escort, along with the battery, in order to test the seller's "needs only a starter and battery" assertion.
Maybe tomorrow. Err, this afternoon.